In the 17th district of Paris hides an absolutely charming street, the “Cité des Fleurs”. More than 300 meters long, this pedestrian street lined with houses makes passers-by forget the surrounding Parisian frenzy.
Rather rural hamlet attached to the Batignolles village before its annexation to Paris in 1860, the village of “Les Epinettes” experiences a strong urbanization from 1850. The population is mainly working class because the district benefits from the industrial effervescence when the trunk maker Moynat and the Goüin factories (ancestors of Spie Batignolles) settle there.
The Cité des Fleurs also benefits from this real estate and industrial boom since it is built in 1847 by two promoters, Adolphe Bacqueville de la Vasserie and Jean-Edmé Lhenry. The place will first be called the City Pie IX, then the Villa of Flowers, to finally be baptized the Cité des Fleurs.
Future owners wishing to settle in the Cité des Fleurs must respect – even today – the terms of two conventions dating from 1847 and 1850 instituted by the two promoters: the facades must be aligned, the villas must not exceed two floors and an attic, each garden must be planted with three trees, and the stone pilasters must be surmounted by a Medici vase in cast iron of a very specific model.
In 1850, only three plots are sold but the growing activity of the district allows the sale of all the plots in 1866.
Moreover, many engineers working in the nearby Goüin factories settle there.
The City of Flowers is then a perfect example of social diversity: workers, engineers and artists rub shoulders there. Alfred Sisley paints “Montmartre from the Cité des Fleurs” there in 1869.
During World War II, n°25 houses the Plutus resistance network. The head of the cell, Colette Heilbronner, is assassinated there by the Gestapo on May 18, 1944.
Catherine Deneuve and Françoise Dorléac were born there.
Today, the City of Flowers is a haven of calm and bourgeois luxury.